To Pray

by Jeremy O'Bryan

I’m encountering a fresh, new opportunity of prayer. I meet with a group of guys who have helped me figure how to ensure prayer and scripture become, and remain, a disciplined part of my life.

A pastor recently said he keeps a list of people for whom he prays each week. Just a few words from his heart based on his own perception of their needs before God.

“Well,” I ask myself, “How does he know their needs if he doesn’t ask?”

“Duh.” I replied.

So ask.

For myself, I have been praying Nehemiah’s prayer, found in the first chapter of that book. A task for me now is to consider what I will pray for others: my wife, my son, my brothers and sisters, my neighbors.

Prayer from the heart, off the cuff, is good. But there is something deeply satisfying about searching scripture for the prayers our people lifted up long ago, as a sacrifice to a Living God.

They worked then. So they ought to work now.

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